Friday, April 20, 2018

Back yard visitor






  A few weeks ago as I was eating my breakfast I happened to look out the dining room window and spotted a Sitka Blacktail deer walking through the side yard. I had a mouth full of cereal or toast or some such thing, so all I could do was point and  make sounds like a cave man while I danced around on the floor. Eventually Jan figured out that I wanted her to look out the window before the deer disappeared. As it was, it made a bee line for the garden out back and proceeded to chow down on some dandelions that had just sprouted. Why is it that weeds are among the first plants to show their fuzzy little green heads? One way or the other, the deer didn't mind a bit. He spent the better part of twenty minutes nibbling the leaves down to the nubs and then making his way slowly up the hill. I had my own personal weed- eater. I do wish he'd been a little more aggressive and pulled the dandelions out by the root. He (or she) I couldn't really tell which, was really delicate though in his eating habits. It very deliberately avoided some variegated ground cover that was growing along side the weeds and took only the dandelions. It kept looking back at the street with every little noise and I was expecting it to bolt at any minute. However, it didn't get too alarmed and continued to work it's way up the hill and into the woods out back. It's not uncommon to see deer in town, there is plenty of area with cover and food for them, but I usually don't see them in my back yard. I do recall hearing a noise on the side of the house a few years ago though that woke me up. We have our fuel tank on that side of the house and unfortunately, on occasion there have been some less than honorable folks who have been known to steal the fuel out of people's tanks. I got up and looked out the window in time to see a nice deer standing in my neighbor's yard. It passed through mine and brushed against the back of the house- clumsy oaf. I'm not sure where the deer are going to be going soon. The bears are out of hibernation and are starting to roam around. Spring is kind of late getting here, as it is in some parts of the rest of the country. I haven't seen any skunk cabbage yet, something they eat to get the digestive track back in sync. I imagine they will find any winter kill deer out in the woods and whatever else they can dig up. They're omnivores and will eat just about anything- even diapers at the dump. One of Jan's co-workers had her dog attacked last week, so everything is fair game. I just hope these little guys can stay out of their way, and that the bears don't take a liking to the weeds at my house.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Trivia Night

Ryan, Dennis and Jen

World's best waitress-  Bev

Sandy, Anna Faye, Buddy and Donia and her husband

Paul, Mary and Terri



Barbie- one of the owners



      Last night, as almost every Wednesday night has been for the past year or two, was Trivia night at the Icy Strait Lodge. It's  a good opportunity to get out of the house, especially in the long, cold, dark winter months and mingle with some of our fellow Hoonah citizens. Sometimes there will be a team made up of fishermen who are here for the King or Tanner crab season, and often there are folks from out of town who are associated with the clinic who help to swell the ranks of the local clinic staff and add to the cerebral well being of their team. We have folks from all walks of life playing- forest service personnel, a former school superintendent, teachers, fishermen, tour guides and whale watch captains, and some everyday folks who just want to come out and mingle and have a good time. Our local post master, Mark Smith is usually the one who asks the questions. I'm not always sure where he gets his questions from. There is usually something about geography, science, history, possibly politics, general knowledge, books or literature, including children's books, movies and sometimes something from the bible. I happen to sit at a table that usually does pretty well. Dennis has a lot of general knowledge, and is quite familiar with geography, Ryan knows movies really well, Terri has a handle on a variety of subjects, Jen is familiar with children's literature, and Jan and I are the two oldest folks at the table. Chances are at one time we knew the answer to a number of the questions, but we just can't remember what the answer is. It's probably a really good thing to be testing the old brain cells now and then, part of the use it or lose it philosophy. All the teams have names. We've been a number of different names down through the weeks, The Soggy Pants, No Depends, Trivia Knights, Muddy Socks, Hoonah Hookers and last night we were the No Ruben Gang. Dennis, the city manager has a fondness for Rubens, something that I have trouble wrapping my  head around. How can a sandwich with corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing all on rye bread possibly taste good? It's beyond me.Paul and Mary K. are usually the Cerebellums, but last night Paul wasn't there. However, Mary was joined by Candy,  a Stanford graduate, so they took on the name- Half a Brain. The clinic group were the Hoonah Honey's last week, but I can't recall who they called themselves last night. Howard, Dwight and one other retired fellow were I believe calling themselves The Mentally Challenged. They usually do pretty good, but sometimes I wonder if it isn't because they can hear our table discussing the answers. Frankly, I wish I could read lips for those times when we're stumped and I'm certain that the Cerebellums have the answer. There is one fellow who usually shows up by himself. His last name is Murphy, and he always goes by the team name Murphy's Law. I don't believe he's ever won, but he's always a good sport and seems to enjoy himself. There is always a first, second and third place winner's circle, and the lodge hands out gift certificates with various percentages off of meals and drinks to the winners. It's good business all the way around. Last night the competition was fierce, and we came in fourth place out of seven or eight teams. The Half  a Brain team won. It's hard to imagine how many points they would have racked up if the other half of the Cerebellums was there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

90% Wimpy




  I stepped on the scale today and saw the numbers flying by like a one armed bandit in a Las Vegas casino. I won't tell you where they finally stopped, but I can assure you, there wasn't any jackpot when they finally did. In all honesty, I don't believe the scale. No, I'm serious. I think I need to put in a new battery or something. The day before yesterday when I stood on the scale, it said that I was two pounds heavier than the day before. Then when I hopped on yesterday, low and behold, I had miraculously lost four pounds. Today it claimed I had gained five pounds and a few ounces. That's malarkey! This winter I've been on an exercise routine that involves walking on the treadmill for twenty minutes, doing some stretches with a three foot dowel to keep my arms from seizing up, and doing three sets of lifts with some ten pound dumbbells. Dummies. I seldom have soda anymore, preferring instead to drink unsweetened ice tea. I use 1% milk on my cereal and in my coffee. I don't use sugar on my cereal, with the exception of brown sugar on my oatmeal. Of course cereals like Frosted Flakes, Count Chocula, and Lucky Charms are sweet enough without sugar, but I don't care because I haven't eaten any of that stuff for years. I did drink a half a beer last night at my daughters house, but it was a Miller Lite. Almost every afternoon lately, I've been taking the dog on a walk out around the airport. I'm not sure how far that is, maybe a half mile trek and granted, by the time he stops fifty times to sniff and spray, we aren't moving too fast, but it is exercise. I've heard that muscle weighs more than fat, which is great, but when I look down at my gut, it's obvious that it's not muscle that I'm seeing. I spoke to my doctor at my last physical about any procedure that could redistribute the fat that was encompassing my stomach perhaps south a few inches. He just laughed. I guess that's every senior man's pipe dream. I'd kind of like to go swimming some time, but I'm too embarrassed to be seen in public without a shirt on. To say nothing of the swim trunks. I don't expect to look like I did when I was thirty. It would be nice, but not realistic, but I would like to see a little more tangible results from the routine that I'm following now. What I don't want to have happen is to go somewhere warmer and then not have the energy to go outside and do anything. I can stay here and be a couch potato. In any event, welcome to the world of aging. It's quite a trip. Do what you can now to make the transition into old age as painless as possible. Eat your veggies, get some exercise and make good friends who will tell you the truth, because you sure can't believe that stupid scale.